Tim Tebow to New England, but what will he play?

Chris McGrath

The Patriots are signing Tim Tebow, but will he still play quarterback?

The question of whether or not Tim Tebow would get another shot in the NFL has been answered, but it now remains to be seen if that opportunity will come as a quarterback.

It didn't take long for there to be conflicting reports on Tebow's role with the Patriots. Mike Freeman of CBS Sports reported Tebow would "study a great deal at tight end" while ESPN's Ed Werder reported New England was signing Tebow with the "intent of playing quarterback." Studying tight end doesn't necessarily mean Tebow is switching positions, but it would also seem to indicate its far from a lock that Tebow will remain at quarterback.

So which report is correct?

Tebow has previously resisted a move away from being a quarterback, but at the same time it's hard to see New England taking Tom Brady off the field for Tebow to run a specialty offensive package. Did New England bring in Tebow to compete for a backup spot with the idea of him sitting on the bench and developing under Brady? Maybe, but not many teams would welcome the media circus that follows Tebow for a No. 2 or No. 3 quarterback.

It's possible the Patriots will give Tebow a shot at quarterback initially with the idea things could change down the road. Few coaches are able to exploit a player's strengths like Bill Belichick and there may not be a NFL coach who believes in Tebow more than Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. McDaniels will now get a second chance to groom the quarterback he traded up into the first round to select in 2010. McDaniels and Tebow spent one season together in Denver and McDaniels was adamant Tebow would play quarterback at that time.

"He's a quarterback," McDaniels said in 2010, via ESPN.com. "He's a quarterback. That's all he's going to do."

A lot has chanced in the three years since then, but if anyone in the NFL believes Tebow can be a successful NFL quarterback, it may be McDaniels. If a position change is indeed in the works, there may not be a better fit for Tebow than with New England. The Patriots utilize their tight ends in a fashion unlike any other NFL team. Tebow's former college teammate Aaron Hernandez is far from a prototypical NFL tight end, and New England may be able to utilize Tebow in a similar fashion.

Tim Tebow is back in the NFL. Now we'll have to wait and see if it's as a quarterback.

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